Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Musical Epiphany

I've been both an idiot and a snob.

When going out to see live music I normally go for people I've heard of, touring musicians I've read about or heard somewhere and ignore all the local talent that constantly plays in this area. I was emphatically reminded how dumb that is tonight by seeing some local musicians at Twins Jazz tonight, the Brad Linde Quartet.

They did include one out-of-town guest, pianist Dan Tepfer but the rest of the group lives here and they played a blazing set of Lennie Tristano-Warne Marsh-Lee Konitz derived "cool" jazz that had all the things I love about this music, intelligence, logic, imagination and musical telepathy. Tepfer was amazingly versatile going from Keith Jarrett rhapsodies to minimalist swing dead on the beat with accents reminiscent of Monk, Powell and others. His long florid introduction to "Stella By Starlight" was jaw-dropping. The two saxophonists, Linde on tenor and Sarah Hughes on alto, looked ridiculously young but they were both expert at explosive unison play and their solos had immaculate behind the beat phrasing that touched on all the "cool" shamans, Konitz, Marsh, Getz, Mulligan, all the way back to Lester Young.

I've been feeling a little jaded from going to local free improv shows which are often mostly people making squealing random noises on laptops. This show was a powerful reminder of the beauty of real instruments improvising on melody, chords and rhythm, a joy I've denied myself far too much lately. It's high time I checked out local jazz much more frequently.

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